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john berman and christine romans in for soledad today. good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. >> i'm christine romans. soledad is off today. our starting point, high level negotiations under way in washington to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. but are they any closer to an agreement? u.n. ambassador susan rice faces three of her main republican critics today, trying to explain her comments about the attack in benghazi. will she get their support if she's nominated as secretary of state? >> then, she's queen of the racetrack. now she's taken on sonic. danica patrick is here, live, with a preview of her new racing video game. >> we have lots coming up in the next two hours. pennsylvania senator pat toomey, maryland congressman chris van hollen. utah senator mike lee. and actress lucy heal from "pretty little liars." >> "starting point" begins right now.
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good morning, everyone. our starting point today, more republicans seeming to break their no tax pledge but still bickering with democrats over the so-called fiscal cliff. and just under 35 days now america falls off that cliff. you've heard the menacing sound right there. this triggers drastic spending cuts and tax hikes. now there are some signs of compromise on capitol hill. several top republicans saying they're willing to at least consider raising tax revenues to get a spending plan passed within the next five weeks. however when the lame duck senate returned to work yesterday, it sure sounded like the same old stalemate. >> the senate has spoken and president obama has spoken. he's promised he will not sign any bill that mortgages our future to pay for handouts to the wealthiest 2% of americans. i only hope house republicans have been listening. >> we've been responsible, even as we've remained firm on this point. no tax increases now for promised spending cuts that
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won't materialize later. >> hardly a political plug there. cnn political director mark preston is live from washington this morning. mark, so far there are no formal fiscal cliff talks scheduled at the highest levels. but the white house just announced that president obama is going to be going to pennsylvania on friday to try to sell his version of the tax plan to the american people. is that going to help things? >> well, john, you know, it's a dual strategy right now that we're seeing develop in these negotiations over the fiscal cliff. the first strategy, of course, and the first bullet point is when president obama gets together with congressional leaders and they try to get some kind of resolution. the second bullet point, though, is to try to pressure the republican party and that's what we're seeing from president obama by going out to pennsylvania, to this manufacturing facility, that makes toys, including tinker toys and the k'nex building set. so we'll be doing that on friday. in addition, today it actually starts. pressure campaign begins today. they'll be meeting with small
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business owners at the white house. tomorrow it will be meeting with middle class americans who say that they will be impacted if congress doesn't fix the fiscal cliff. they'll also be meeting with business leaders this week. so we're seeing a two-prong strategy right now out of the white house. >> it starts moving in the realm of tinker toys you know it's getting very, very serious. we've seen some republicans, major republicans, come out the last few days saying they don't feel bound anymore by that americans for tax reform pledge that grover norquist pledge. most recently house majority leader eric cantor seemed to have a little wiggle room there. do you expect to see more republicans coming out here? >> the floodgates have certainly opened and i suspect we'll see more republicans talk about the need for resolution. we have a new cnn poll in the last 24 hours that show that if this is not resolved, that republicans will take a majority of the blame, and not president obama. so i think we will see more republicans start to break away from that pledge. but, on the other side, though, democrats are also going to have
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to come to the table, and do some compromise. we saw senate minority leader mitch mcconnell talk about it yesterday on the senate floor. see what he has to say. >> republicans have stepped out of our comfort zone, and yet we remain at an impasse. leading us to ask, why? because a vocal minority on the hard left continues to argue to leaders of their party from the president on down, that democrats in washington should do absolutely nothing about short-term or long-term spending problems. >> and there you have it. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell talking about how republicans are trying to come to the table but they haven't seen that from democrats yet. john? >> all right. really is interesting to try to guess when the first democrat will come forward and show a little bit of leg on the idea of compromise. mark preston in washington, thanks very much. >> indeed, tinker toys. i got the joke, it was funny. the other big story we're
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following, u.n. ambassador susan rice is going to meet with three republican senators who criticized her over comments she made in the aftermath of the attack on the u.s. consulate in bengha benghazi. this as a cnn/orc new poll shows the obama administration's overall response to that attack does not get high marks. 54% of americans say they are dissatisfied with how the attack was handled. foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is at the state department this morning. >> hey, christine. the bottom line, as i look through this poll, i think it says americans do not see a cover-up. that's the one thing. but there is a lot of confusion in this poll, i think, in terms of what americans think, you know, happened, didn't happen, don't forget this has been -- it is confusing. and, it has been highly politicized. so when you look at some of the parts of this poll, for example, you know, thinking it could have been prevented, 48%.
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42% think it could not have been prevented. and it's very hard, i think, for americans, to figure that out. who knows unless you have the intelligence information, and all of that has not come out yet. the other thing, though, is that americans are really split. 44-44 over how the administration handled it. you know, did they handle it appropriately? or did they not? and that's, i think, where the nub comes in. if people are confused, chances are it wasn't handled correctly in terms of explaining it. >> so what does she expect from this meeting that she's having today? it seems as though john mccain, senator mccain, has reformed a little bit from his initial criticism. what can we expect on this meeting on the hill today? >> essentially what she's going to do, and she will be with the acting cia director michael morrell, they're going to be answering questions, at least it's expected, answering questions about why she said what she said when she did. in other words, when she went on those sunday talk shows, how
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much did she know? what were the talking points? did she really know more than the talking points? did she just stick to the talking points? was there more that she could have looked into? and this, again, i think reflects some of the confusion. don't forget, you know, there are three investigations. congressional, fbi, and state. and until those are completed. >> thank you so much, jill. >> a lot of people here in the northeast looking towards the sky this morning. winter storm we hear headed our way. let's get a quick check on the weather with alexandra steele. >> good morning to you guys. quick hitter. rain and snow. we're seeing it move in this morning and will exit this afternoon. and into the early evening. you can see, of course, the white delineating where the snow is predominantly kind of the axis of this main snow is here in southeastern pennsylvania. and also, into northwest new jersey. places like morristown. so the strike on where we'll see one to three inches of snow, harrisburg to allentown, to
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morristown, new jersey. already some snow falling already in teterboro, and also in suffolk new jersey where the temperature is 2 degrees. in teterboro it's 36 degrees. here's that 1 to 3 inch swath, 2 to 4 inches potentially in garrett county, maryland. also on the southern end, we're seeing rain and lightning. look at this, birmingham, just alive this morning with showers and storms. all making its way toward atlanta, georgia. so, you can only imagine the travel delays we will see at the world's busiest airport develop in a couple of hours. also into new orleans, showers and storms headed your way. but it is a one-day affair, in today, out tonight. that's really the only action right now. but, a barrage of storm skies heading into the northwest. as we've seen so far this season, we're going to continue to see it beginning tomorrow, and lasting through the weekend. >> all right, alexandra, thanks so much. >> other top stories we're following, egyptian people voicing their opposition to
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president mohamed morsi and the muslim brotherhood. and wondering if they replaced one dictator with another this morning. this ireport showing protesters as they carry the 16-year-old's casket through tahrir square yesterday. intense protests expected again today. morsi declaring egypt's courts cannot overturn decisions he's made since coming into office in june. or over the next six months. one opponent says that can only lead to a dictatorship. morsi has said he's trying to protect egypt's fragile arab spring revolution. he's not trying to accumulate unchecked power. the body of former palestinian leader yasser arafat was exhumed this morning from a mausoleum in the west bank. a team of international scientists will analyze tissue samples in an attempt to determine if he was poisoned to death in 2004 with a radioactive substance. the actual cause of arafat's death was never actually determined. the current head of the palestinian authority travels to the united nations this week for
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what he hopes will be a vote with a historic outcome. mahmoud abbas, will be present thursday as the general assembly votes on a resolution that would upgrade palestinians to the status of a non-member state. meanwhile, only one week since the cease-fire between israel and hamas, and the u.s. official tells cnn that iran is already figuring out how to resupply hamas with missiles and other weapons. a flight from fort lauderdale to san juan, puerto rico, forced to circle back and land just after takeoff because of a bird strike. an inspection confirmed a bird hit the right engine of that jetblue flight yesterday. passengers were put on a different flight and arrived in san juan after a 2 1/2 hour delay. monday night football action in philadelphia, kind of like a loser bowl. not a marquee match-up. the eagles and panthers, two of the worst teams in the nfl. but it was a big night for panthers qb cam newton. he threw for two touchdown passes, and he ran for two touchdowns himself. there he goes.
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that wasn't him. way to go, man. 30-22. eagle quarterback michael vick had to sit out of the game because he's still recovering from a recent concussion. ahead on "starting point," more republican lawmakers breaking with grover norquist on that pledge not to raise taxes. could there be a political backlash? next hear from one senator who signed the pledge, pat toomey of pennsylvania. >> and after a record-breaking holiday shopping weekend, how did retailers fare on cyber monday. the staggering numbers ahead. ♪
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welcome back to "starting point." minding your business this morning, cyber monday sales rose 28% from last year. that's according to the ibm benchmark survey. the most searched for items, amazon's kindle and kindle fire. uggs. ipads, the ipod touch, legos and the wii. snapshot of america's priorities. estimate monday sales reached
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$1.5 billion. >> billion. >> a quick check of the market. stock futures are flat this morning. a lot of data today, durable goods orders, home prices, consumer confidence, and european markets are higher after officials there agreed on a bailout terms for greece late last night. new this morning, a warning on the fiscal cliff and a downgrade of expectations for u.s. economic growth. the organization for economic cooperation and development cut its forecast for the u.s. economy for this year and next year, and on fiscal cliff negotiations, the oecd said, quote, diseaecisive policy actis needed to ensure that stalemates over fiscal policy in the united states and continuing euro area instability do not plunge the world back into recession. plunge back into recession the whole world, a very bad, bad idea. >> a lot of menacing terms there. fiscal cliff a menacing term here. now we know we are just under 35 days away before we fall off that cliff. which could lead to deep spending cuts.
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want to bring in republican senator pat toomey from pennsylvania. he was a member of the deficit reduction super committee last year that failed to agree on a plan. but he's been talking about this issue for a long, long time. good morning, senator. >> good morning. >> we just learned that president obama will be traveling to your backyard on friday to talk about the fiscal cliff and spending, and traveling to pennsylvania right now. is this a welcome visit as far as you're earned? >> as far as i'm concerned the president of the united states is always welcome in my state of pennsylvania. we welcome the president and look forward to his message, and i have some questions i'd like to-ish i hope he addresses. >> what questions? >> first of all the president seems absolutely determined to inflict a tax increase on the american people. two years ago he signed a bill that extended the current tax rates for two more years because he said the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in a weak economy. today the economy is weaker than it was two years ago. why in the world does he want to inflict that damage now? >> senator --
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>> second, i've got several others, but go ahead. >> one more in, then i'll ask you one. >> sure, here's another one, if the president actually gets the tax increase that he says he wants that solves 8% of the projected deficit over the next ten years. what is the world is the president's plan for the other 92%? is he going to raise taxes on the middle class? is he going to raise taxes repeatedly? does he have some -- has he discovered the willingness to rein in spending? we haven't seen any plans. >> senator, let's talk about you, now. because a year ago when you were part of the super committee you did propose your own cut plan and revenue plan. >> right. >> this included closing loopholes. this included reducing deductions in taxes. you still support closing loopholes and reducing deductions? >> look, the concern that i have is that we are now just a few weeks away from a massive tax increase. and i am trying to find a way to avoid inflicting that damage on our economy and going through that.
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so, if we're going to have to have some kind of revenue increase, which this president seems determined to do, i would hope we could at least do it in the way that does the least economic harm. that means lower marginal rates, reform the tax code, offset the lost revenue by reducing deductions, write-offs, loopholes, that sort of thing, then, at least, you could hope that you'd have some pro-growth policy in your tax code that would offset the damage done by greater revenue. >> so that is a yes, though, just to be clear. you would favor raising revenue by closing loopholes and reducing deductions? >> if we were lowering marginal rates at the same time lower than what we have today, and if we were going to do something meaningful about the actual problem we have, which is spending, and which is the entitlement programs. >> right. agreed the democrats need to come along on the idea of spending cuts and talk about that in a serious way, we'll stipulate that. but would you be in favor of reducing deductions and closing loopholes without the corresponding rate cuts? >> no. why -- you know, i think that what we need to do if we're
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going to do this, you know the revenue side isn't where the problem lies in the first place. this is a side show to the real problem. the real problem that the president has refused to address, how are we going to put our entitlement programs on sustainable path? how are we going to live within our means? we're going to do something on the revenue side, then by for gosh sake's let's at least not damage the economy any more than we have to. let's do it by lowering marginal ratings and generating revenue through reducing the value of deductions and write off some loopholes, taxes, things that distort economic activity. >> warren buffett wrote an interesting op-ed. he is a supporter of the president but said he does not favor raising rates on people making more than $250,000 but said he would support it for people making $500,000. is there an income level where you support or at least not oppose vehemently the idea of racing rates? >> again, you know, i don't think that's a constructive direction to go in. we -- you know, we could just keep adding ever more brackets, and ever more burdens on people
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who are productive or have a couple of good years in their business. i think all of that discourages economic growth and discourages risk taking and entrepreneurship. so i'm in favor of moving in the direction of a flatter tax system. of fewer brackets, lower rates, simplicity where we get rid of all the distortions that happen in the tax code, rather than speculating about how many different new brackets we should create. >> i want to get to benghazi. on taxes you talk about closing loopholes and reducing destructions. grover norquist says that would violate his pledge. are you okay with violating the grover norquist pledge? >> i don't intend to violate any pledge. my pledge is not to support higher taxes. what we're faced with in just a few weeks is a massive tax increase. if i can help ensure that we don't have that tax increase then i believe i've fulfilled my pledge to fight for the lowest possible taxes. >> he may have a disagreement there. die want to move on to benghazi.
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susan rice is traveling to capitol hill to meet with three of her fiercest critics. do you think some of her republican colleagues who said they would block her nomination as secretary of state, do you think they've been too hard on her? >> well, i don't want to speak for my colleagues, but i thought what i heard was that they would block it if they didn't hear an adequate explanation for why she went on national television repeatedly, many days after the attacks in which four americans were murdered, and she told the story that wasn't true. now, maybe she has a good explanation for this but we haven't heard it yet. and so i'm glad she's coming to capitol hill. maybe it's possible for her to provide some information that we don't have now that would explain how this could happen, how the american people could have been so misled about the nature of this incident. so, i welcome her visit and hope it's constructive. >> if she is nominated can you see yourself supporting that nomination? >> again, it depends on whether we get some very clear and acceptable answers to these
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questions. how she could have gone on national television and told the american people that this was not a -- this was not related to a terrorist attack when, in fact, senior people in our intelligence community knew almost from the very beginning that it very much was a terrorist attack. that's a disturbing fact pattern that we need to have addressed. >> senator pat toomey of pennsylvania, great to talk to you this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> ahead, the democratic process left to the flip of a coin. the election that was decided by a coin toss. that's next. plus, you want to be danica patrick? now is your chance. virtually at least, with a new racing game, and she's here with a live preview. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to.
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good morning and welcome back. president obama welcomes mexico's president-elect to the white house this afternoon. drug related violence, immigration and trade issues are expected to be on the agenda. jill kelley has been stripped of her honorary consul title by south korea. she held the post for just three months. south kroo yeah's deputy foreign minister accuses her of using the title for personal gain. >> heads or tails? that's what decided a local election in central illinois. george wissmiller says he didn't want to win the seat for dewitt county by gambling. so he's refusing to take the nominal pay he disfor the job. defeated incumbent isn't about it either. he's looking into a recount. >> doesn't seem like a very democratic way of settling an election. >> we just heard from republican senator pat toomey on hopes for a fiscal cliff deal. the ranking democrat on the
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welcome back to "starting point." the consequences of failure are dire. the hope of cooperation is fragile. congress back from holiday break and it must do something before the end of the year or we'll go off this thing called the fiscal cliff. raising tax rates, and triggering big spending cuts. it could cause a recession. a new cnn/orc poll shows a whopping 67% of americans think that any budget deal must have both spending cuts, and tax increases. let's bring in maryland democratic congressman chris van hollen. he was a member of the deficit reduction super committee, and he has covered this territory for the past year. here we are again. good morning, sir. >> good morning, christine. great to be with you and john. >> we have spent so much time talking about grover norquist and the tax pledges from some of the republicans on the right.
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their promises to not raise taxes and where they might be budging on that. i want to talk to you about the spending part of this -- of this -- of this balanced approach. because, conservatives are saying that you guys do not have a serious commitment to cutting spending. that all this talk about taxes is -- is distracting from the fact that democrats don't have a serious, serious plan for cutting spending. so tell me what's a serious plan? are you willing to cut spending? and how? >> yes, yes we are, christine. in fact, if you look at the president's budget it takes exactly that balanced approach that people are calling for. it has additional revenue, by asking high income earners to pay more. to reduce the deficit. but it also includes spending cuts. so, we did a trillion dollars in spending cuts as part of the budget control act over the next ten years and we're going to have to continue to implement that. so that's part of the plan. secondly the president's budget actually contains more health care savings than the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission does. he does it in a number of ways.
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for example he asked pharmaceutical companies to pay higher rebates to drugs for people who are on medicare and medicaid. he reforms the medicap wraparound insurance plan. right now medicare is essentially indirectly subsidizing those plans. so the president actually has substantial savings, not only in health care, but in many other areas. for example he eliminates a lot of the excessive agriculture subsidies. so the president's plan does have that balance of cuts, and revenue. >> interesting that you bring up health care because eric cantor, something we heard from speaker boehner, he would like obama care to be back on the table. i mean, democrats say, look, this is how we squeezed out -- we squeezed money from medicare. but the republicans are saying no put that back on the table. this is what he said. >> if the president is serious about joining us and fixing the problem, he ought to be putting obama care on the table. there's no question in my mind,
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that is the largest expansion of government programs -- >> can you say at the moment that that's being talked about? >> all i can say is the president has got to get serious >> when i hear stuff like that i think you guys are still on completely different planets at the moment. democrats and republicans, on how to fix this. >> well, that's right. that's sort of taking the talks into reverse right now. look, the cnn poll that was conducted showed that 70% of the american people recognize that congressional republicans need to do more to cooperate with the president. they know before the election they did not do that. now we've all got to work together to get this done. with respect to obama care, the congressional budget office, the nonpartisan entity, shows that actually over the next ten years it reduces the deficit, and over the next 20-year period it reduces it by even more. so if you want to reverse obama care, you also are reversing the important savings that were part of obama care. we achieve many of those savings
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by ending the overpayments to some of the private insurance companies within medicare. >> but we don't have health care costs under control. and that still is -- obama care did not address the rising cost of health care. frankly, some say wasn't even meant to. it was about access to health care. we can -- we can -- we can fight that battle all over again. but, bottom line, i think, is that, you know, mitch mcconnell and others have said that, you know, they're the ones who are bending. they're not seeing the bending from the democrats. let's listen to mcconnell for a second here. >> republicans have stepped out of our comfort zone, we've been clear about what we'll do and what we won't, and yet we remain at an impasse. leading us to ask, why? because a vocal minority on the hard left continues to argue to leaders of their party from the president on down that democrats in washington should do absolutely nothing about short-term or long-term spending problems.
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>> they don't think you got entitlements seriously on the table. i know you outlined some of the things the president proposed through obama care. what other kinds of cost savings, changes, are you going to wring out of medicare and medicaid, and is social security absolutely off the table? >> social security, social security is not part of the debt deficit problem. we've always said we can look at social security on its own terms to try and strengthen it. but we're not going to raid social security to pay down other parts of the deficit. with respect to medicare and spending cuts, it's really interesting to hear senator mcconnell say this, because he knows that we adopted over a trillion dollars in cuts over the next ten years. he also knows that the congressional budget office said that obama care would reduce the deficit. we can build on the kind of reforms that were in the affordable care act. the affordable care act did
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actually begin to reduce the cost curve in health care by modernizing the system to say we're going to reward the value of care that providers pay, that doctors and hospitals provide, not simply the volume. we need to move away from the fee for service system. what we do not want to do is the republican definition of reform, which doesn't reduce costs, but simply shifts rising health care costs onto the backs of seniors. that's what their voucher plan today. that's what their other proposals do. so let's reduce health care costs. let's do it in the overall health care system, medicare and the other parts of the health care system, but let's not just transfer those costs. that's not solving the problem. that's not real reform. we need to take the balanced mixed approach. the president actually has put that plan on the table. it would be useful if our republican colleague mitch mcconnell would actually show the american people what they're talking about. you can see the president's plan. it's on the internet. it's been submitted to congress. let's see what his plan is. >> it sounds like you guys still have a lot of talking to do.
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>> we do. >> and 34 days left. >> but i'm still very hopeful we'll get there. >> let me ask you something quickly about something dominating a lot of attention, too, susan rice, the u.n. ambassador, will be heading to capitol hill today. she's going to meet with three, with three republican critics who've been concerned about her response, her public response to the benghazi attack which, of course, resulted in the four americans killed. and we know that, you know, how the obama administration has handled the benghazi attack, one of our surveys shows that 54% of americans are dissatisfied with that response from the administration. a wide margin of people think that it hasn't been handled well by this administration. shouldn't someone in the administration have to pay for -- for what happened there? >> well, christine, as you know there are two pieces to the benghazi issue. one is finding out whether there was insufficient security at the consulate, at the mission in benghazi going forward. and there's a high level group
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of people investigating that. and out of that will come whatever accountability and repercussions. but then there's the separate issue, and this is sort of the cooked up conspiracy theory from a lot of republicans. and as the facts have come out that conspiracy theory has been shown to be exactly that, just a madeup idea. this notion that the administration, the obama administration through susan rice, was trying to change, change the facts when, in fact, what we now know is she was simply providing the information that had been the consensus position of the intelligence community, the cia and others in the intelligence community, and it's now well established that the white house had nothing to do with changing that evaluation and assessment. so she was reporting on the information available through the intelligence agencies, and it's just not fair to hold her responsible for misinformation when she didn't have any other facts that -- to go on at the time. >> congressman chris van hollen
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from maryland. thanks for joining us today. >> thank you. it's 38 minutes after the hour right now. other top stories this morning. a lawsuit filed by a house committee against attorney general eric holder in the fast and furious case will be heard in court this morning. republican lawmakers are trying to force holder to turn over documents from the failed gun trafficking operation. some of the weapons linked to the program were found at the murder scene of a border patrol agent. you'll remember that. the white house invoking executive privilege to keep the documents under wraps. a pretrial hearing begins today for wikileaks suspect u.s. army private bradley manning. manning himself may take the stand as early as tomorrow. his attorneys plan to use various jail mistreatment claims while he was at the marine corps brig in quantico to try to get his case thrown out. he's accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents which ended up on the wikileaks website. wikileaks has never confirmed manning was their source. just released 911 tapes revealing more about the kayous and carnage during last week's
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thanksgiving day pileup on interstate 10 in tax. foggy conditions caused about 140 cars and trucks to collide. listen to two of the crash victims crying out for help. >> i have a major accident over the interstate. cars and 18 wheelers and everything, i don't know where we are, the fog is thick. >> please get on i-10. >> ma'am, we've got it coming, okay. >> they're still hitting. >> ma'am, we've got them coming. >> ma'am, they're en route, okay? >> okay. >> all right. >> tough to hear. two people were killed in the pileup. 90 others had to be rushed to area hospitals. a dangerous scene in downtown sydney, australia. the cabin of a giant crane at a construction site burst into flames and the top part collapsed onto a nearby rooftop. incredibly nobody was hurt. the operator of the crane was also the operator of the crane that collapsed in new york a few weeks ago. >> that's interesting.
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rick santorum dropping hints he may be thinking about another run for the white house. the former senator and presidential candidate told piers morgan he's keeping all of his options open. >> i'm open to that possibility, but i -- we're a long way -- i'm focused right now on, on trying to -- to stay involved with the fray and make sure that we do the right thing up on capitol hill right now, and also, that this debate in the republican party about what the future of the party and where we're going to go that we're going to be very active and engaged to make sure we stick to america's founding principles. >> former house speaker newt gingrich hasn't ruled out another bid for the presidency either. he said he'd consider running in 2016 if the gop makes big changes. ahead on "starting point" she denied the drug cartels and she paid for it with her life. now one mayor's courage is being celebrated in mexico. her story next in a live report. t the world's biggest events in 3d, or live to your seat high above the atlantic ocean. it's what drives us to create eco-friendly race tracks,
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we have a story of bravery amidst the violence of mexico's drug tartle. the former mayor of a small town west of mexico city stood up to drug traffickers and paid with her life. >> maria santos gorrostieta survived two assassination attempts but two weeks ago she was ambushed and abducted while driving with her daughter. her body was found days later. cnn'sster latin american affairs editor rafael romo is following this story for us. it's really tough one, rafael. >> that's right. she was kidnapped on a busy street during the morning rush hour as terrified onlookers watched the scene unfold. maria santos gorrostieta was driving her young daughter to school as they were stopped. the 36-year-old former mayor was taken away by force, as her
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douaughter cried his tear clal. officials say when the body was found her hands were tied behind her back. she also showed signs of a severe blow to the back of her head. maria santos gorrostieta was also a medical doctor, and mayor of the small community of tiquicheo from 2008 to 2011. this was the third time, the third time she was a victim of an attack. during the first attack in 2009 her husband was shot and killed. but she survived serious gunshot wounds. after her second attack in january of 2010, she was defiant. she said, i will rise up again as many times as god allows me to so that i can keep on seeking, fighting for and working out plans, projects and actions for the benefit of people, especially those most in need. she is survived by her three children and her second husband. christine? >> hmm. cnn also reporting a beauty queen was killed in a shoot-out between mexican military and suspected criminals. also happened in an area well known for drug violence.
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what can you tell us about that? >> that's right, christine. this happened in the mexican sit of michoacan. some of our viewers may be familiar with this state. it's home to a very powerful mexican drug cartel. this woman here maria susanna flores gamez, she was 20 years old, was miss sinaloa 2012. she was caught in the cross fire during a shoot-out between the mexican military and members of an armed group. now we don't really know, and mexican officials are not saying at this point, whether she just happened to be there, or whether she was involved in some shape or manner with this group. but in any case, a very, very tragic end to a woman who had a very promising career, chris teen. >> all right. rafael romo, thank you. such a tough story. >> awful story. >> the mon know, the drugs, the guns, the money, the drugs, the guns. this is not just a mexico story. we are their largest trading partner. it's a real serious situation.
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>> so up next we're going to shift gears. danica patrick, she's taking her "a" game from the racetrack to sonics world. how you can play as this famous nascar driver in a new video game, danica patrick live with us coming up next. my doctor told me calcium is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. i'm going to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership?
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danica patrick, indy racer, just finished her first full season in nascar. finished tenth in the standings. >> now she's driving into a new video game in sega's racing transformed video game, you can play as danica patrick, zooming
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across land, air and water. check it out. >> take this. >> whoa! >> dang it. >> pedal to the metal. >> you had a quick glimpse of the virtual danica patrick. we have the real thing, danica patrick spokesperson for sega. before we talk about the game, let's talk about the nascar season. you did finish tenth in the nascar series. that is the highest finish by a woman. >> i founded out that that was the highest woman's finish in the championship. that's how it usually goes for me. i find out after things happen. i have high expectations. i would have loved to have been in the top five in the championship but it just didn't really work out like that. as a driver, as a competitor, i always want more. so i hear that and i'm like, yeah, okay. so nine other people beat me. it was a decent first year. we had god successes along the way, bad luck along the way.
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i'm much more prepared for the full sprint cup series next year for sure. >> what are you learning first full year, first full season nascar, what have you learned? how are you -- better different or better driver? >> just overall getting more comfortable so that going out and driving the car is the easy part and then you can really start feeling all the little tiny things that are happening with it and how it's reacting to the track and, you know, what kind of changes you need to make it better. so that's the kind of stuff that i'm learning, how the car changes over the race, where the track changes, what lines you need to take based upon what part of the race it is. there's a lot to learn. >> i guess we'll never do that but we will do something like play a video game and be danica patrick. >> help me practice for the real thing. >> given the fact that we're not in the air or water, i'm not sure that all ofs it does. >> unless something goes really really wrong, right?
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>> it's the holiday season so it's time to have a little fun. this is definitely a really fun game. it's fairly straightforward to play. if i can play it, anyone can play it. you can play a four-person game. good for family. and it's cool as an athlete to be able to have yourself as being a player in a game like that, that's such an iconic brand for games. >> i was surprised that women make up such a large percentage of games. they're almost half of console pc game users. i would not have thought it was that high. i would have -- first glance i would have thought it's so great in this game because it's going to lure in women. women are already there. >> i guess they know their stats. that's where i come in. but that's really cool. that's cool to noechlt i didn't -- i had no idea either. you would think more men play the game. then again, nascar fans are almost half women. so -- at least 40%, i think.
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i could be totally wrong. but i feel like i heard that. so, yeah, forget the gender thing. it's just going out the window these days. >> so let's talk about go daddy and super bowl. there were some rumors that maybe you and go daddy would part ways. but you're still there? >> absolutely. that was a weird situation. that was never the case, definitely my primary sponso and will be for years to come. and there's an article that came out that just didn't come out right. we quickly sort of fixed that and just a few weeks ago i was racing in phoenix and we were at go daddy's headquarters in scottsdale and announced that bob parsons announced that i'll be in both super bowl commercials. so that's pretty cool. >> any previews? >> i don't even know what days we're shooting. >> super secret. veil of secrecy. danica patrick, thank you so much. now now you, too, can drive like danica patrick. can democrats and
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republicans find some common ground to get a spending deal done? we'll speak with utah senator mike lee, who says there's a fiscal avalanche on the other side of the fast-approaching fiscal cliff. he is the half in the hit series "two and a half men." why is young star angus t. jones telling viewers to stop watching his show right now? e used andro, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child,
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>> good morning. i'm christine romans. >> and i'm john berman. soledad is off today. will it turn into a fiscal avalanche in lawmakers don't reach a deal? that's what utah senator mike lee says. you need to know about the winter storm head this had way. smash series pretty little
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liars, actress lucy hale is here, talking about the secrets of her show and her upcoming album. it is tuesday, november 27th, and "starting point" begins right now. good morning, everyone. we have an all-star team here with us this morning. ron brownstein, cnn senior political analyst and editorial director. will cain is here, columnist for the in the middle of them, roland martin, cnn political analyst and host of "washington watch" starring roland martin. >> all dressed up in these suits. >> will dressed up? seriously. >> no tie. no tie. >> "starting point" this morning, something that affects every man, woman and child, the fiscal cliff. just about 35 days away. we found out this morning that the president will be hitting the road in an attempt to avoid driving off that cliff.
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>> new cnn/orc poll. more than 60% believe a deal must have both spending cuts and tax increases. republicans are strongly opposed to any tax increases. we want to bring in senator mike lee. >> you wrote an op-ed. while washington is preoccupied with the so-called fiscal cliff, little attention has been given to the fiscal avalanche that will occur if we continue down an unsustainable long-term path causing markets to turn sour on u.s. debt and leading to a spike in interest rates. you're looking at the very long-term picture. they're just trying to get a little budget deal done here. you're real worried about if they don't do this right now what it means for the longer term. tell us about that avalanche. >> the thing about the cliff is we know exactly when it's coming. you can see a cliff. you can see when you're going to hit it. an avalanche is a little bit different. when the conditions are there, when it might happen. but you have no tiechling as to
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the exact moment that it's going to occur. and so that's what we need to be worried about. there will come a moment at some point in the next few years when people will no longer buy u.s. treasury instruments. at least not at these unbelievably low rates we have today. once that trend starts to reverse itself we'll be in a world of hurt. >> i've been calling it the curse of the bond market. interest rates are so low, because this government can borrow money so cheaply and so easily, it gives political cover to washington, to policy makers. they've been able to let this go on for a year, longer than it should have simply because interest rates are so low. we're still the best game in town. other countries have bigger problems than we do in terms of their financial problems but these rates are still -- we were worried about this last year, two years ago. these rates are so low. there's no sign they're going to turn around any time soon. >> it's a little bit like saying i didn't look both ways when i
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crossed the street yesterday and i didn't get hit. and i did it the day before and i didn't get hit. sooner or later, the piper has to be paid. sooner or later, these things will have consequences and they won't be pleasant. >> i want to turn to the budget negotiation going on at capitol hill. this famous pledge sponsored by grover norquist. conservative to say the least seemed to throw in the towel, providing maybe some cover for some republicans here. let me read to you what they said. if taxes are going up anyway because the bush tax rates expire and republicans can stop them from going up as much as they otherwise would, then pledge-takers deserve some credit for that. mr. norquist says it violates his pledge to eliminate deductions without lowering rates but at the current economic and political moment it is also a service if republicans prevent tax rates from going up. providing some cover there. have republicans effectively caved on the idea of raising revenue? >> i don't think republicans have caved on anything related to taxes.
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we do have to remember that it is possible to bring in more revenue without raising taxes. any time you stimulate economic growth that's going to bring in more revenue. i want more revenue because i want more economic growth. that's the best way to bring in more revenue, to fund government programs. >> i guess senator ron brownstein from national journal. what is your leverage if there is a stalemate? all of the bush tax cuts expire and rates go up for everyone, what is your leverage to prevent an increase in rates at least for those at the very top as president and all democrats are demanding? >> that's one of the problems that we have. one of the reasons we're calling this the fiscal cliff. if we do nothing then we go off that cliff. if we do nothing then current law requires all those rates to go up. that may be what "the wall street journal" is referring to, the simple fact that a default operation with no intervention by congress will result in a rate increase. >> they're also -- they are also clearly saying that if
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republicans can negotiate a deal in which rates went up somewhat but not all the way back to the 39.6 top rate under president clinton that they would deserve credit for doing that. they seem to be suggesting you would be increasing rates somewhat and. do you think that's an idea that will take root among senate republicans? >> perhaps so. i haven't seen the editorial. i don't know specifically beyond what you've described what they're saying. >> there is room, there, you think, for raising rates? not as much as letting the bush tax rates expire completely and closing loopholes, you think that might be fertile ground, is that what you're saying? >> i don't think that's a good idea. it's a horrible idea to raise taxes on anyone. for rates to go up in this economy is going to be a bad thing. it's going to kill jobs. even if we just allow the top two rates to go up, as planned by current law. we're going to lose 700,000 jobs. we have to remember these are not ceo jobs or top 1% jobs. these are people who are living paycheck to paycheck,
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hard-working americans who will lose their jobs. we don't roar about raising taxes on the rich because we're worried about the rich. we worry about that because of what that's going to do to the poor. >> this is will cain. before i got into this game of telling people my wonderful opinion on various topics, i was in the business world, bought and sold businesses. every time i did that, there were two parties to the interaction. there was a party and counterparty. i didn't just get to go dictate my terms. in order to make a deal to avoid, as you said, this potential fiscal avalanche, you'll give a little ground on taxes. are you getting a sense from your counterparty, the democrats, that they'll give ground on spending, main drivers of our debt and deficit entitlements? are you feeling that give? >> i'm not feeling that give so far. i do want to point out that so far the only proposal on the table, the only idea that anyone has thrown out from the democratic side is to allow the top two marginal income tax rates, top two income tax rates to go up.
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and that's what we know will kill 700,000 jobs. that proposal, to my knowledge, is not accompanied by any long-term structural spending reform. that's one thing that's so troubling about this. at the end of the day we have to remember it's not really a revenue problem we have so much as it is a spending problem. >> we heard so much about sequestration in terms of defense cuts. i get entitlements. i get the issue when it comes to taxes. you look at the amount of money this country spends on defense, is it an area where republicans say we can make cuts there as well if you want cuts on entitlements? >> absolutely. we need to make cuts anywhere we can. there are efficiencies we can find in military spending. that doesn't mean that the kind of sequestration called for by the budget act of 2011 is the way to do it. those cuts fall disproportionately on the department of defense and i think that's a problem.
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i've got a bill in the form of my cut, cap and balance act of 2012 that makes sequestration unnecessary because there are more cuts, some in defense and others in other areas. i have another piece of legislation that i have not yet introduced but am working on. targeted kus so we don't have to carry out all of the cutting in the area of defense or disproportionately in the area of defense. >> i want to bring in u.n. ambassador susan rice, who has a meeting on the hill in the next hour to meet with senators john mccain, lindsey graham to answer questions about the benghazi attack. word is that the president could pick -- his pick for secretary of state as early as this week. would you oppose rice if she were nominated? >> i'm sorry, i lost the feed. i can't hear -- >> can you hear me, sir? i'm afraid he has lost our audio. >> thanks to senator mike lee of utah, talking about the fiscal cliff this morning. not talking about ben gauzesy because the audio feed went
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down. top stories this morning. winter storm headed for the northeast. we'll get a quick check on the weather with alexandra steel. good morning to you guys. a quick storm, rain and snow moving in. you can see it there. it's finite. it will move in today and move out today as well. delineated in pennsylvania, the white where the snow is, pink is rain and snow and, of course, the rest is rain. we'll see the rain change over to snow as the moisture moistens up the atmosphere. we'll see the axis of the heaviest snow, one to three inches from harrisburg, allentown and here in northwest new jersey around norristown, new jersey. you could see a few inches of snow. bright banding is where the heaviest snow is coming down. that's where we'll see it, one to three. west of washington around garret county, maryland, highest elevations, maybe two to four inches for you. rain on the south side of this thing. birmingham is getting pounded by
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rain this morning. it's all headed to atlanta. flights in and out of atlanta next couple of hours, hop on line and see what you can do. we'll really get into some delays here in the southeast. farther south, new orleans, storms heading toward you. it is all moving east and will all be a pheta com plea as it moves out. guys in the northwest we've seen a barrage of storms, most active storm track. and we'll watch storm after storm come in through the weekend. this whole week until then. >> alexandra steele, thank you so much. >> sure. new clashes happening in cairo. tear gas canisters in the air as sire sirens blare. egypt courts cannot overturn his decisions, decisions morsi has made since coming into office since june or in the next six
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months. one opponent says that can only lead to dictatorship. the remains of former palestinian leader yasser arafat were exhumed this morning. many believe he was poisoned by israel when he died in 2004. now an international team of scientists will analyze tissue samples to see if they contain any traces of radioactive substance of plutonium. in fact, his cause of death was never determined. many were without power, some for weeks, long island power authority says those figures were only estimates b e based on last year's usage and totals will eventually be adjusted. this as two more lippa leaders are on the way out, vice president of customer service is leaving at the end of the year and a member of the board of trustees has resigned weeks after the ceoo has stepped down. inflight instructions by flight attendants, middle earth
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may be able to help. >> welcome aboard middle earth flight. before we set out on our journey, i would like to impart the joy of safety. even if you fly with us often. >> felt more like an elf to me, frankly. it's a play on "the hobbitt," 10 million hits on youtube and awesome. >> that's cool. ahead on "starting point" he stars on a show that he thinks is filth and doesn't want you to watch t a "two and a half men" controversy that doesn't involve charlie sheen.
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welcome back to "starting point." you might expect a critic to say stop watching "two and a half men" but not one of the star. >> if you watch "two and a half men" please stop watching "two and a half men." i'm on "two and a half men." i don't want to be waton it. please stop watching it. please stop filling your head with filth. >> michelle turner joins us this morning. whatever is happening? >> we're all trying to figure out what the heck is going on here. this one is a little bit of a head scratcher here. if we never said the name of the person involved, we would think they're talking about charlie sheen, right? no. it is another controversy for "two and a half men." in this case, the half of the show, angus t. jones, is doing the opposite of charlie sheen, getting attention for complaining about the kinds of behavior that charlie sheen actually got in trouble for. he plays jake harper on the show. angus t. jones is one of the
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highest paid child actors on television. but he is telling people not to watch "two and a half men" because, you heard him, he said it's filth. he appeared in the video to talk about his religious faith and denounced the show that made him rich and famous. we also looked at this entire video. he continues on and says that he doesn't want to contribute to, quote, the enemy's plan by being on this show and that he doesn't think he can be a christian and be on a show like "two and a half men." of course, we reached out to the people behind the show to give us a reaction and give us a hint as to what the show is going to do. of course, they had no comment. his character -- and this could be a hint in its own -- his character in the show is in the army right now. so if something happens, there's always an out there. maybe jake harper could ship out. >> be like happy days, richie cunningham was shipped to greenland. >> he has a contract, right, michelle? he has a contract. is he saying he wants out of his
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contract? is he saying he is so morally upset by the content of the show he's going to walk away, take the moral high ground or is he contractually obligated to appear on this program? >> that's a good question, christine. back in 2010, he signed a contract that guaranteed him $7.9 million for 26 episodes. that's two years. he also got a $500,000 signing bonus for that. so i'm not sure. there has to be some sort of morality clause. you would think. but then again, sharly sheen was the star of the show for so long. so, yeah, i'm not really sure if he will be able to get out of it or walk away. chuck lorre, the creator of the show, has been known to be outspoken. >> this is not a shock when you have someone who is, in essence, new to their faith all of a sudden begins to study the bible, take a look at their
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faith. >> is he new to his faith, do you know? >> in terms of the reference to bible studies. as a christian, husband of a pastor, you have a platform that many other people don't have. the question is, how can you use a platform that god has positioned you for, to use it to be able, if you want to be able to spread the word? you can do that. and so to say, well, don't watch it -- take the time to explain what do you mean by filth? when you say risky humor. many christians are here in hollywo hollywood. this is no surprise when you have somebody who, again, is new to something who all of a sudden says based on what i'm reading i want to change my whole life. this is what happens when you have some folks who are babies in the faith. >> on that note, i'm sure this guy -- you talked about his contract. he has some nice syndication rights as well. comfortable for life, making it pretty easy to criticize how he got comfortable. am i wrong? >> you know, you're right. this show is in syndication. it is one of the most successful
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shows on television. and all of the principle players on this show make a lot of money. he is set for life pretty much in syndication. you're right about that. the point that roland made as well, we've seen this in other areas, too. i remember prince, when he found his faith, he said i can't be part of singing these types of songs. i don't want to do this anymore. we do see that when people are now gnu to their faith and trying to figure out what they're going to do next. i'm not sure if going on youtube and making this video is the best way to figure that out. >> don't watch my show now that i've become really, really rich by starring in it. >> exactly. >> michelle turner, thank you very much. >> five years after her death, anna nicole smith's 6-year-old daughter following in her mother's footsteps and has a lot of people wondering why. time mother of three. it was soccer, and ballet, and cheerleading, and baseball. those years were crazy.
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welcome back to "starting point, everyone. president obama welcomes mexico's president-elect to the white house this afternoon. in a recent washington post editorial, he said the two countries need to focus on more than just drugs and security. his top priority is strength strengthening economic ties to the u.s. cyber monday sales rose 20% according to the ibm benchmark survey. xpirion says amazon's kindle and kindle fire, uggs, ipads, ipod touch, legos and wii. cyber monday sales reached $1.5 billion this year. quick check of the markets. u.s. stock futures are flat. durable goods about six minutes out. home prices, consumer
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confidence. european markets are higher after officials there agreed on bail-out terms for greece late last night. >> that's big news potentially. >> it is big news. like mother, like daughter. anna nicole's 6-year-old daughter is following in her mother's footsteps, modeling for fashion label guess. saying dannielynn has the same playful spirit her mother had. to explain her mischaracterization of the benghazi attack and the confusing messaging in the weeks after. did she convince them, though, that she didn't mismean to mislead the country? a crane collapses in australia. what went wrong and how is it tied to the new york city crane collapse a few weeks ago? anybody out there playing the power ball this week? can i borrow $2? what you need to know before entering a lottery pool. >> don't do it.
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>> no, do it. >> do it, do it! >> you have to follow the right rules. erks americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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welcome back to starting point, everyone. big day on capitol hill. u.n. ambassador susan rice heads to capitol hill to try to mend fences with senators who are upset about the comments she made in the immediate aftermath of the attack in benghazi. >> they said they wouldn't support her if she were nominated for secretary of state. >> this is about the role she played around four dead americans, when it seems to be that the story coming out of the administration -- and she's the point person -- is so disconnected to reality, i don't trust her. and the reason i don't trust her is because i think she knew better. and if she didn't know better, she shouldn't be the voice of america. somebody has got to start paying a price around this place.
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>> let's see what happens here. we will do whatever is necessary to block the nomination within our power as far as susan rice is concerned. >> those are two angry senators. senior congressional correspondent dana bash is with us right now. she's got a lot of persuading to do. you hear even in lindsey graham's -- the words he uses. he's not talking about the confusing message surrounding the deaths of those americans. he's talking about her role, which is pretty strong -- strong wording. >> oh, absolutely. look, this is going to be an early test of susan rice's diplomatic skills, this meeting today. these three senators, you're right, have been very critical. and specifically they're threatening to block her nomination if president obama does nominate her as secretary of state. cnn's eric spiegle just caught up with senator mccain about his meeting and this is what he said. >> whatever ambassador rice wants to tell me. she's the one who asked for the
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meeting. i didn't. >> do you trust her to be secretary of state? >> this issue needs to be resolved, cloearly. it needs to be resolved before -- i don't make a judgment as to whether she should be secretary of state or not until she's been nominated. >> now you can hear, john and christine, mccain's tone has really moderated when it comes to rice. sound bites you played were from a couple of weeks ago and now he he's saying that he's willing to listen to what she has to say and about the comments she put out when she went on those sunday talk shows. why she did not mention al qaeda, not just that -- because we understand now that she didn't mention it because she was told that that was classified and she was given unclassified talking points and that's what she read from. the bigger question they have, we're told, is why she went
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further and said that the obama administration has decimated al qaeda and whether or not she said that knowing the classified information, which suggested that al qaeda might have been behind or at least an affiliate of al qaeda might have been behind this attack in benghazi. >> it will be an interesting morning on the hill. >> this is ridiculous. first of all, she wasn't secretary of state. you have critics who don't want to mention secretary of state clinton, didn't want to mention petraeus when it came to the cia. and they want to zero in on somebody who frankly was sent out on television who was not even over the ambassador. >> are we seeing here, basically, the end game on this? will this resolve these issues? do we think that basically we're going to expect to see her nomination of secretary of state in the next few days? >> seems to be heading in that direction. there's a larger context here. republicans lost 80% of the vote of a rapidly diversifying country, nonwhite population.
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do you want two older white senators filibuster eefilibuste second african-american woman as secretary of state? >> i'm the president. i'm putting forth who i want. if i'm the white house, frankly, i want this fight. if you want to fight with me on this here, my appointment for secretary of state, fine. you bring it. >> it seems to me she will be somewhat conciliatory when she goes up to the hill. >> republicans made a mistake in focusing on her when there's a larger issue of what happened in benghazi and the fact that the talking points were changed only illustrates that there's a larger problem than susan rice. second, you talked about lynndie graham's words. we'll have to ask dana again, but will they talk about her role she should have known, not what she said but should she have known more and said something different? >> four americans are dead. in the end, four americans are dead. there should be numerous investigations. we haven't had an american
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ambassador assassinated since the 1970s. that that happened is horrific. so much of the conversation has been about politics, not about securing -- >> looking forward, this is all about can you stop the president's -- one of his major nominations out of the gate? that's what this is about. >> the questions are right. the mistake is personalizing it on the individual. other stories we're following for you guys, the u.s. military monitoring what it says is increased activity by north korean launch site captured by satellite imagery. no rocket visible on the launch pad. the activity is similar to what went down back in the spring when a north korean rocket blasted off. that rocket, by the way, failed. fast and furious case heads to court this morning. attorneys will be arguing the merits of a lawsuit. republican lawmakers want holder to hand over documents.
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guns of the botched operation were found at the scene of a murder of a border patrol agent. joe smiley sans avoided arrest for 14 years. he is accused of raping and killing his own girlfriend in 1998. investigators say he was caught on surveillance video shooting a man in the head execution style outside a california home back in 2008. fbi says a tip led them to saenz friday at an apartment in mexico. >> big arrest. dangerous scene in downtown sydney australia. top part of the crane collapsed on to a nearby rooftop. incredibly, no reports of injuries. this crane is operated by the very same company that owns a crane that partially collapsed on a new york city luxury skyscraper during superstorm sandy. fda has shut down the largest organic peanut processor
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in the country as part of its newest crackdown on salmonella poisoning. 31 people in 21 states, most of them children, were sickened by a peanut manufacturer there and sold by trader joe's. it's the first time it has used the new enforcement power it gained as part of an enforcement law. do you remember this? >> i have no recollection of this whatsoever. did i miss the '90 s? >> "boy meets world." there is a "boy meets world" sequel, tweet from ben savage himself. aka corpsi and topanga have signed on to star in "girl meets world" will cain the only person
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in the world to knows anything about this. >> i would like to say that i'm young enough to remember this show in the '90s, but topanga, california. topanga. >> pop culture but a different world. >> we could talk about money. >> we could buy pop culture. at a whopping $425 million, tomorrow's powerball drawing is set to be the biggest jackpot in powerball history, the second largest overall. >> the previous powerball record was $365 million, jackpot won by eight co-workers who each walked away with just over $15 million each after taxes. not bad. still there are some warnings if you are going to join an office pool. honestly. these end badly, like always. >> did you put in money today? >> no way! i don't trust any of you. state attorney -- >> he's greedy.
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>> explain to my friends here why this is such a sketchy notion. >> thousands of people are engaging in office pools and there's so much excitement going on. it's critically important that we put a few ground rules in writing or, as you said, people are going to be at each other's throats. there's a lot of room for misunderstanding. >> you have a point. somebody has to be in charge. the lottery catcptain. walk us through the dos. who is involved, copy the tickets. walk me through it. >> you appoint someone who will be the lottery captain or manager. the identity of this person can change as we go along. they have a lot of responsibility. they collect the money. they keep a sheet of collections and they check it off. they buy the tickets. they ensure that everyone signs the back of the ticket and then photo copies it and distributes it to everyone. >> put it in writing. appoint a lottery captain. contribute equal amounts. some people put in ten.
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some people put in two. >> you can't be loose with this because it leads to expectations that will go unfulfilled. if a throw in an extra $5, i might think i'm entitled to 33% and you might not. >> do you require the lottery captain to not buy an individual ticket? >> absolutely. >> come on. >> i'm just saying. >> you know what i mean? that's an excellent question. yes, but you need to clearly identify that on the front end. >> we have to get an attorney. >> so you say, okay, you're the lottery captain, you can't buy an individual ticket if you're going to be lottery captain. sign this sheet of paper? >> i think they should be able to buy an individual it ticket but we as a group should sign what is supposed to be the group ticket. >> the other don'ts. >> don't leave it open ended. i'm not going to pass you in the hallway and say i'm going to go buy a lottery ticket this afternoon and you say okay, i'm going to give you some money. i should send out an e-mail.
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realistically, no one is going to have the time or wherewithal to do a full blown contract. that's silliness. i can send out an e-mail to everyone saying i'm going to the deli at 3:00 pm. anyone who is interested sks please get me $5 before then. if you didn't, i assume you're not in it. and that's a paper trail. we all know that e-mails hang around forever. >> we know that these office pools are terrible ideas. i guarantee we have some guys in the room, mike, brad, guys on the crew. did you guys do an office pool? and who is your leader? >> they said not berman. >> our office pool right here, every time. these guys. >> what happens when it goes wrong? is there litigation? what happens in the litigation? >> what happens in the litigation, if there is a winner and it's an office pool, you can be sure that people are going to say, i thought i was in. i thought that you were going to cover me. that's our usual deal.
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that's why it's so important to have rules and never deviate from the rules. with any legal protection, you want to anticipate the slings and arrows down the rod. and i want to be able to say in court, no, no one said that they were going to cover you, because we don't do that for anyone. very important. >> and there are very real lawsuits about this. >> oh, yeah. and there's a hope that they're going to settle. so if you guys won the office pool, i might bring a nuisance lawsuit because you're eager to get your hands on the winnings. you don't want to be in court with me for a year even though you're going to win. >> lump sum or take the payments? >> lump sum. >> what do you like? >> lump sum. >> absolutely. >> last time we did a pool, there was an office -- the captain and then i was the money manager. i was going to decide how we were going to do it. we didn't win. for the record, i would just like to say, you should spend more time planning your personal finances than dreaming about the lottery. >> we've got some good --
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a recovering addict says striving to be perfect almost cost him his life. as a young gymnast, he felt so much pressure, he turned to alcohol and then drugs. but he made a stunning rebound. sanjay gupta has this story in the human factor. >> i started gymnastics when i was 9 years old. i was watching the 1984 olympics and it spoke to me as if it was
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like broadcasted directly to me. >> joseph putignano's gymnastics got serious after that but his insashable need to perform perfectly took over his life. >> for me it became a darkness that i have to be perfect. >> that's where his downward spiral began. >> i had my first drink and all that desire for me to be perfect and to be the best was just washed away in a moment. >> drinking led to pills, cocaine, eventually heroin. in 2007 after several failed stints in rehab and two life-threatening overdoses, recovery finally stuck. >> 27 years old. i hadn't done a handstand in almost ten years. but in the rehab, for whatever reason, i started to do handstands and splits and the more sobriety i maintained, the more this like light, if you want to call it -- i don't know what else to say -- pulled me in a better direction. >> it was a chance meeting with
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a circumstance dueque du soleil >> he saw something in me. >> five years of sobriety, starring as the crystal man in the cirque du soleil touring show. >> it's like the darkest of men carry the brightest of lights and here i was, the darkest of men and now i get to come down and shine. >> dr. sanjay gupta, cnn. >> that's cool. the star of the smash series "pretty little liars," we're talking to actress lucy hale about the series and her upcoming country album. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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pretty little liars is a hit drama on abc family. soledad loves that type of thing so she sat down with one of the stars of the show, lucy hale. >> actress lucy hale is one of the stars of the smash hit tv series "pretty little liars," playing high schooler audrey montgome montgomery. it tells the story of four teenage girls who attempt to solve mysteries surrounding their friend's death, sometimes by telling "pretty little lies." take a look. >> reporters are hounding her for interview. >> okay. how are we going to do this? >> emily thinks she's coming over here so we can apologize. when she realizes what this is,
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she'll probably be more mad at us than she was before. >> i am not looking forward to seeing that. >> in a successful intervention, the loved one feels safe not judged. >> we start out all warm and fuszy a fuzzy and then we have hit her with the truth. >> getting toy s to tots. we'll talk about all of that. you're so tough and so sweet. >> got to hit them with the truth, yeah. >> why do you think that show has been so successful? killer demographic that people, no pun intended. >> nice. i think it's just everybody loves a little scandal. we have wonderful cliff hangers and, you know, people like to escape through drama and tv and we have all these great combinations and it all sort of works together. >> every episode has twists and turns and mysteries and secrets inside of mysteries. >> i know. >> do people hit you up for like tell me what happens, inside
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scoop? >> all the time. my mother. >> do you tell her? she's your mother. >> if i had scoop to give i totally would. the writers and producers are very, very careful about what they tell us. i think it's mainly because they know we all have big mouths. >> they won't tell you what's happening? >> no. and they want to keep it exciting for us as well. >> how far ahead do you get a script? >> the day before. the finale script we got the day we started shooting. >> they didn't want -- they didn't trust you on the finale. >> no, completely. >> i'm sorry. >> that's okay. >> you're from memphis, tennessee. >> i am. >> you can sing. you've got an album coming up. >> thank you. i do. signd with hollywood records about a year ago. i've been shooting the show so just been writing with some wonderful musician. >> i didn't realize music was your first love and in a way your first skill, too. >> i grew up performing. got really lucky on the acting side of things and i completely love my day job and what i do. at the end of the day music is
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my main passion. i'm really excited to let everyone hear what i've been working on. we hope to have the album out in the summer and single in the spring. >> do you have a role model, someone like taylor swift and say that's what i want to do? >> no. i grew up with people like faith hill and martina mcbride. >> hard core country? >> yeah, yeah. taylor swift has sort of paved the way for people like me who i will have some cross-over stuff as well and there's no one bigger in the world than taylor swift. got to give her credit, too. >> good thing to aim for. >> oh, come on, yeah. >> i was mentioning toys for tots. you'll be helping in getting toys for tots. >> yes. >> duracell is doing -- >> it's called duracell's power holiday smiles, partnered up with toys for tots. a sweepstakes they have on consumers can enter the sweepstakes and hope to win toys for themselves. with every entry, duracell is
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giving one battery to toys for tots. >> you have a million things vying for your attention, a zillion people who would love to partner up with you. why this one? >> i do so many things. i think this campaign really spoke to me. i'm always looking for something to sort of lend my voice to and help out in any way i can. this was a no brainer for me and something i'm really passionate about. i feel very honored that they chose me to sort of help get the word out. >> nice to have you with us, lucy hale. >> thank you. >> we're back in just a moment. ♪
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aalicia keys. we're playing -- >> jay-z. got to give it up. last night brooklyn nets beat the new york knicks. great job by brooklyn nets. >> i saw the nets with rick barry at the garden. that's a long time ago. >> that's a long time ago. >> want to make rick barry your end point, that's okay. someone else bring it. >> washington editorial saying republicans basically have to accept a world where not only revenue but tax rates go up is an absolute turning point in the fiscal debate. it is a moment where i think that becomes inevitable. >> he loves it. heisman voters, vote for johnny. >> i don't even like football and i like him. >> quick substantive point. lot of talk about tax pledges and grover norquist. there has to be a flip. aarp is -- >> d m

Starting Point
CNN November 27, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PST

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 14, Benghazi 12, Susan Rice 10, U.s. 10, Washington 10, Pennsylvania 9, Christine 8, America 8, Citi 8, Obama 7, Grover Norquist 7, Danica Patrick 7, Mexico 6, Cnn 6, Mike Lee 5, U.n. 5, Nascar 5, Maryland 5, Duracell 4, Pat Toomey 4
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